Blog DOB: 22 Aug, 2006
Name: Mark O'Connor
Me in the Antarctic
Really Annoying Sh##
This is my blog where I can dump all the sh## that really annoys me. It stays here, I can get on and enjoy myself. It's like therapy, and you can join too for free. Just add yourself as a blogger and get rid of all your sh##.
Opening a business bank account with Alliance & Leicester for a client. The client company had one director and an off the shelf company secretary.
The bank declined to offer a bank account citing its reason as "one or more of the Directors involvement with a liquidated company".
The Director, a millionaire, had closed a company three years earlier and distributed the large surplus the company had amassed as a dividend to himself and the other shareholders.
Naturally an off the shelf company secretary will be involved in liquidated companies as so many new companies fail in their first year.
Although, I did appeal the decision based on the facts and had the account opened it does prompt the question why
You would think if someone picked themselves up from business failure to try again they would be encouraged, rather than having institutional doors shut as if they carried a communicable disease. Do the life coaches not continually remind us of Edison and the light bulb?
At least in this case there was a happy ending, Alliance & Leicester saw sense. This is more than can be said for HSBC who once declined to open a business account for me because my personal bank branch was in East London, I lived in Surrey and I hadn't changed the address on my Driving licence. It all added up to suspicion. This is why I always dissuade clients from using HSBC. I will always recommend an alternative bank, like Alliance & Leicester or Barclays.
For those who don't know, dmoz, or the "Open Directory Project" is the "largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors."
The DMOZ database feeds search engines like Google, AOL, and Lycos. This is one of the reasons web developers will endeavour to have their sites included in there.
Oddly, the fact that all submitted content is human reviewed, is broadcast as a major quality control advantage. The volunteers or "net citizens" as they are called, can cull "out the bad and useless......keeping only the best content".
There are over 4million sites included in the directory, The directory has over 74,000 editors managing 590,000 categories. Anyone can apply to be an editor. You pick a category and then soon you too can keep out "the bad and useless".
If you ever have the patience to browse through the dmoz directory you might be surprised by some of the included sites. At various stages I've found holding pages, pages only made to click through to sales, pages without any useful content, pages that are badly made or inaccessible. These are clearly not "the best content" and their inclusion in the directory would seem to add credibility to tales of corruption among the editors.
There are stories that the editors can be bribed, stories they will deliberately sabotage competitors sites either by changing their classifications or not adding them at all to the directory. The dmoz directory aims "to become the definitive catalog of the web".
We are not living in some future world where corruption and greed have been erased from humanity; the ego has not been subdued and we do not live together in an open, intelligent and selfless society. Can a human edited database (which has to inherently include all the subjectivity, bias and preferences of the editors) therefore produce objective results, can it be relied on to keep only "the best content"?
Well done for trying but I think I would feel safer in the hands of an algorithm.
I had a virtual server with a UK, aim listed, hosting company (I'll blog about them separately). One day I receive a sales call. The sales person advises me that the company is discontinuing its virtual server range and I would have to upgrade to a dedicated server.
I was paying £39 per month for a virtual box. The upgrade was only going to cost me an extra £20 per month so I went ahead. There wasn't an alternative.
As I had a lot of domains on the virtual box (free hosting to startups) I had concerns about the time it would take to migrate. But "ah" they said the Plesk Control Panel is included in the Gold package. That will ease the migration.
Little did I know that there was a limit of 10 domains on the box. If I wanted to add more I would have to buy additional licences from Plesk. So the solution was completely unsuitable for me. Why would I pay more to host some sites which have no database backend and use up about 50K of disk space?
Aside from that, Plesk proved to be a completely useless interface for configuring and administering the server. It was't able to adequately configure other applications running on the box like MySQL, PHP and the Apache web server.
Unless all you want to do is administer some emails and domains and you are prepared to pay the licence costs invest in Plesk. If you actually want to control your box don't, just install Webmin. Webmin is free and gives you control over the whole box.
I eventually installed Webmin on the dedicated server but Plesk wasn't going to give up. It had damaged the configuration too much. The only solution would have been to start with a new box, no plesk installation. A dedicated server, without the Plesk control panel, was £49.99, so I thought that was good I save £10 per month. High five, and buy a bottle of wine.
But support tell me a different story to sales. If I pay £49.99 I won't have a MySQL database. So tell me what good is an 80Gb box without a database? At the moment I am migrating my business away to another company, and the cost of the dedicated server package I had has been increased by over 16%.
So that was a good technique, ring your clients and tell them you're discontinuing a product they're using. Switch them over to a more expensive product (50% more expensive). Wait awhile, then up the price of the more expensive product even further. Result: you almost double sales.
The board or the VC's must be getting ready for an exit!
Being completely anti Apple I don't know why I downloaded iTunes. Well, yes I do, it was recommended to me.
At first it was a love affair. Finally I was able to get my hands on the U2 cover versions of Endless Love and Unchained Melody, but that was about it.
Soon I began to appreciate the iTunes library didn't contain much of the songs I was looking for (like Waterloo Sunset and Eve of Destruction) or almost worse, all it would have is a crumby live version. However, I persisted. I downloaded Bobby Sinclairs Love Generation as it reminded me of taking a bus ride over the Andes. I downloaded about nine songs in all, and now they're completely stuck in my computer.
I don't have an iPod. I will never buy an iPod. If I were to receive one as a gift i would put it straight on eBay. When I'm in the car and not listening to LBC 97.3 I like to listen to my CD's but of course these ridiculous m4p files from Apple won't let me that.
The only solution it would seem is to use a crack program to convert them into something useable, something that I can listen to, i did buy them after all. Had i known the limitations I would have concluded the unit price per song was actually too much.
Note to self: next time buy the CD
Once you’ve purchased Norton Anti Virus Software you’re unwittingly locked into a cage. Your machine is secure and you learn to live with the degradation in speed and performance but watch out if you decide to not renew your subscription. Getting out of the cage is difficult. Alerts dominate your screen telling you the obvious. Even if you click them they do not go away, they will reappear, like a virus, on the screen in one minute, like this one below.
If you untick the box above and click ok the alert will only disappear for one minute.
The best you can do is try to drag the box away off screen, but it doesn’t work for long. Wake your machine up from one of its forty screen saver winks and the Norton alert message has made a Hollywood reappearance, dominating your screen again.
The marketers have must have carefully devised this to be so annoying that the majority of users will end up opening Norton and renewing their subscription. As I completely detest hard sales and lack of choice my only option to escape the cage was to uninstall Norton completely and get a proper system from Kaspersky Labs.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal Pro